GP Bikes: The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Riding a Grand Prix Motorcycle
If you are a fan of motorcycle racing, you might have dreamed of owning and riding a GP bike. GP bikes are the fastest and most advanced motorcycles in the world, designed for competing in the MotoGP championship. They can reach speeds of over 350 km/h and have incredible handling and braking capabilities.
But how do you buy and ride a GP bike? Is it even possible for ordinary people to own one? What are the benefits and challenges of riding a GP bike? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, giving you the ultimate guide to GP bikes.
What are GP Bikes?
GP bikes are also known as Grand Prix motorcycles or MotoGP bikes. They are custom-built racing machines that are used exclusively in the MotoGP championship, the highest level of motorcycle racing in the world. MotoGP is governed by the FÃ©dÃ©ration Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), which sets the rules and regulations for the sport.
GP bikes are not street-legal, meaning they cannot be ridden on public roads. They are designed for maximum performance and speed, with minimal weight and aerodynamic drag. They have powerful engines that can produce over 250 horsepower, carbon fiber frames and fairings, pneumatic valves, seamless gearboxes, traction control, anti-wheelie systems, and other advanced technologies.
GP bikes are also very expensive to buy and maintain. A single GP bike can cost over $2 million, and each team spends millions more on development, testing, and logistics. A GP bike also requires a team of mechanics and engineers to service it before and after each race.
How to Buy a GP Bike?
Buying a GP bike is not easy or cheap. There are only a few ways to get your hands on one:
- Become a MotoGP rider. This is the most obvious but also the most difficult way to own a GP bike. You need to have exceptional talent, skill, experience, and sponsorship to compete in MotoGP. You also need to sign a contract with one of the teams that supply GP bikes, such as Honda, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki, KTM, or Aprilia. The team will provide you with a GP bike and all the necessary support, but you will not own the bike outright. You will only be able to ride it during official MotoGP events.
- Buy a retired GP bike. Sometimes, teams sell their old GP bikes to collectors or private buyers. However, this is very rare and expensive. You need to have a lot of money and connections to find and buy a retired GP bike. You also need to have a special license and permission from the FIM to ride it on private tracks. You will not be able to modify or upgrade the bike, as it must remain in its original condition.
- Buy a replica GP bike. Some manufacturers offer replica GP bikes that are based on their MotoGP models but modified for street use. For example, Honda sells the RC213V-S, Yamaha sells the YZF-R1M, Ducati sells the Desmosedici RR, and KTM sells the RC16. These bikes are more affordable and accessible than real GP bikes, but they are still very expensive and rare. They also have lower performance and different features than their MotoGP counterparts.
How to Ride a GP Bike?
Riding a GP bike is not like riding any other motorcycle. It requires a lot of skill, courage, and physical fitness. Here are some tips on how to ride a GP bike:
- Wear proper gear. You need to wear a full leather suit, helmet, gloves, boots, and back protector that meet the FIM standards. You also need to have a transponder that records your lap times and telemetry data.
- Warm up the bike. You need to warm up the engine, tires, brakes, and suspension before riding a GP bike. You can do this by riding slowly for a few laps or using tire warmers and heaters.
- Learn the track. You need to memorize every corner, straight, bump, and braking point of the track you are riding on. You also need to know the best lines, gears, speeds, and angles for each section.
- Ride smoothly and precisely. You